T20 Blast 2018: Middlesex vs Surrey Preview and Playing XI
Middlesex and Surrey will be looking to begin their Vitality T20 Blast 2018 campaign with a win at Lord’s Cricket Ground in London on Thursday, July 5. Middlesex have won three of their last five T20 matches against Surrey, with all three wins coming at Lord's.
Surrey: Surrey qualified in second place in 2017 season's Southern Division with seven wins from 12 matches thanks to Jason Roy and Aaron Finch's explosive batting. They failed to reach finals day, however, despite posting 204/5; Roy hitting 74 from 38 balls in their quarter-final against Birmingham Bears
Surrey will be missing their top players for the London derby as a result of international duty. Their two overseas players, Aaron Finch and Nic Maddinson, are in Zimbabwe with Australia, while Jason Roy and Sam Curran are with England.
In the absence of Finch and Roy, the batting responsibilities will be shared by Ollie Pope and Ben Foakes. Ollie scored 253 runs in 13 innings in the 2017 T20 Blast, while Foakes was their top scorer in the One-Day Cup, with three half-centuries in seven innings to finish with an average of 55.80
With the ball, Morne Morkel's pace will be the key. He has 178 wickets from 165 games in his T20 career, at a good economy rate of just 7.45 runs per over. Rikki Clarke claimed 13 wickets in the One-Day Cup and has won this competition with Surrey in 2003.
Expected Playing XI: Mark Stoneman, Will Jacks, Ryan Patel, Jade Dernbach, Rory Burns, Ben Foakes, Ollie Pope, Scott Borthwick, Gareth Batty, Rikki Clarke, Morne Morkel
Middlesex: Middlesex failed to qualify from the Southern Division in 2017 T20 Blast, winning just five of their 14 matches. Like Surrey, Middlesex will be missing their top players too. England skipper Eoin Morgan is on international duty, while Dawid Malan's late call-up as cover for the England team rules him out too.
With the bat, Paul Stirling will need to set the tone at the top of the order - as he did with such regularity in the One Day Cup this season. Hilton Cartwright has been in good form in the T20 cricket so far, and scored 249 runs in the Big Bash earlier this year which included two half-centuries.
With the ball, West Indies all-rounder Dwayne Bravo will be key. He took 14 wickets to help Chennai Super Kings to IPL victory this year. While he took six wickets in his three-match stint for Winnipeg Hawks in the Global T20 Canada.
Expected Playing XI: Paul Stirling, Max Holden, Nick Gubbins, Nathan Sowter, Hilton Cartwright, James Harris, Dwayne Bravo, John Simpson, James Franklin, Ravi Patel, Tom Helm